It was far from perfect, but we'll take it.
For the first time this season the Pittsburgh Steelers found a way to hold on to a fourth-quarter lead and win their first road game. Overcoming penalties, turnovers, and an overall sloppy start, the Steelers (3-3) moved to within 1.5 games of the division-leading Baltimore Ravens (5-2) who were smashed by the Houston Texans.
The Steelers were plagued early by too many penalties and dropped passes. Big punt return after big punt return by Antonio Brown was negated by flags in what has become a running joke on punt returns. So many yards are left on the field and great starting field positions are surrendered because of needless penalties.
There was also the slew of dropped passes. Mike Wallace was dropping pass after pass and Baron Batch had nothing in front of him but weeds as he had the chance to put the Steelers up early.
Complete whiff. The Steelers looked discombobulated early and Steeler Nation was worried.
The Steelers quarterback wasn't, though. Not even after having the team's two turnovers. Ben Roethlisberger pressed on and finished 27-of-37 for 278 yards and a touchdown. - http://tinyurl.com/9phaefr
Those numbers could have been a lot better, but they were still enough as Antonio Brown and Heath Miller, the Steelers Digest Player of the Week, were there whenever Big Ben needed them. Big Ben's instincts and their reliability allowed the Steelers to again be great on third down, going 10-16 on the night.
It was something that Big Ben's head coach, Mike Tomlin, has come to expect of him.
"I hope that never leaves him," Tomlin said, speaking of that instinct. "We just want to tighten up some things around him."
One thing that was definitely 'tightened up' was expected the running game. If It Ain't Steel said in the blog that preceded the game that certain things were necessary, one of which being having enough of a running game to pull the linebackers up and make them respect the run.
Jonathan Dwyer and Chris Rainey made Steelers fans nostalgic as they ran the ball down the Bengals throat. Dwyer had 17 rushes for 122 yards and Chris Rainey darted up the middle for an 11-yard touchdown, which was the go ahead score. Dwyer then sealed it on the next series with a big gain on third-and-six. It was victory formation time. - http://tinyurl.com/9w5fw9f
Two other issues that we said were needed for a victory were to confuse and hit Andy Dalton so that he'd throw interceptions and/or to be ineffective. Also so that A.J. Green would have fewer chances. Ike Taylor would have his hands full all night, it was thought.
Dalton was pressured. Dalton was confused. Dalton was picked. Dalton was ineffective. Green had one catch. Again, mission accomplished. - http://tinyurl.com/9llvdmx
In all, the Steelers were able to overcome issues that had been plaguing them. They found a running game. They were able to hold a fourth quarter lead also.
Most importantly, however, they were able to remind the Bengals once again that "We Dey!": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeQEjaoAma8